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Veritatis Splendor

"Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" --Hebrews 12:2

Pope Benedict XVI before our Lord

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Crafting beauty from the culture of death

Here is a very interesting article written by a Catholic movie reviewer about the impact that Mel's movie the Passion of the Christ has made on the culture. Some snippets:

In spite of the controversy and sometimes because of it, Americans flocked to the theaters a year ago. Few moviegoers left the theater unmoved. Many of them left in tears, convinced, like the poet Rilke upon viewing the archaic torso of Apollo, that the movie was viewing them, not vice versa, and that they must change their lives. At least a few of us— cannot think I was alone in this—Christian writers, artists, and filmmakers, left the theater convinced that we must change our art.

...Even after twelve months and a number of viewings, the sense of Passion's uncanny power lingers. I find myself using the word "strange' about it more and more often; "strange" as in the "arresting strangeness" Tolkien mentioned, in his landmark "On Faery Stories," as the hallmark of good fantasy; and "strange" as Harold Bloom uses the word in his magisterial survey of western literature, The Western Canon. Treating the question of what makes a work of literature "canonical," Bloom claims that, "The answer, more often than not, has turned out to be strangeness, a mode of originality that either cannot be assimilated, or that so assimilates us that we cease to see it as strange." I wasn't entirely sure what Tolkien and Bloom meant by their insistence upon the importance of the word; now, after Passion, I think I do.

...Like many an ahead-of-its-time movie that Hollywood didn't know what to do with, Passion is destined, I think, to enter the cinematic Canon. May it also serve as a wake-up call for Christian artists, who are struggling (often in isolation) to pursue a vocation in the contemporary swamp of the culture of death.

Read it at Wrestling with the Angel of Strangeness: The Passion One Year Later


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